August 03, 2015
Family Film Blogging: Ant-Man
Posted by Christine Hurt

So, I'm sure loyal readers were wondering if I were ill or at the International Space Station given the fact that I had yet to review Ant-Man, the latest edition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.  Actually, my middle guy has been at back-to-back camps for 4 weeks, so we literally went to the first showing after he returned on Saturday morning.  It was worth the wait.

First, the answers to the obvious questions.  Yes, Ant-Man will be an Avenger (in the second tier with Falcon and Quiksilver).  Yes, one of the Avengers is in Ant-Man (Falcon).  No, Agent Coulson does not show up in the movie, and the current state and future of S.H.I.E.L.D. is not discussed.  No, in the movie Hank Pym is not linked to Ultron, a clear break from the "historical record" of the comic books.  Yes, Hydra is still out there.  Yes, there are special effects ants, and scientist agree that the ants are realistic, except that they would all be female.

Scott Lang (the very likeable Paul Rudd) has served three years in prison for a very likeable crime.  An electrical engineer at VistaCorp, he discovers that his employer has been bilking clients and hacks into the network to return the funds to their rightful owners.  He also releases secrets.  (I've only seen the movie once, and his actual crime is alluded to only once.)  He's a combination of a hacker and a self-proclaimed cat burgler.  And, he seems to be a small folk hero.  Anyway, he's determined to go straight, but after finding it difficult to obtain employment with his record and thus be able to have visitation with his daughter, he decides to do one burglary offered up by his former cellmate and friends.  (This hilarious trio of good-hearted thieves makes the movie.)  The whole thing is a set up by Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas), former S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, scientist and Ant-Man.  Pym uses the job to confirm his belief that Scott should be the next Ant-Man.

Why does the world need a new Ant-Man?  Because, Pym's former mentee Darren Cross has developed the mothballed Pym Particle (a formula to reduce the space between atoms -- in other words shrink living beings) and wants to sell it as a weapon.  Just as Captain America had to defeat Red Skull and Winter Soldier, Iron Man had to defeat Obadiah Stane and Anton Vanko, and Hulk had to defeat Abomination, our superheroes always seem to be coming up against frenemies who "steal their tech."  All the scientific breakthroughs in the Marvel Universe seem to be double-edged swords and the tension always between saving mankind and weaponization.  Anyway, Scott needs to don Pym's Ant-Man suit to steal back/destroy Cross' research and his new Yellowjacket suit.  There will be a brief training montage with Hank's daughter Hope Pym, and then Scott will need to enlist the good-hearted thieves to help.

Rudd's Ant-Man is very self-aware and doesn't take himself or the movie very seriously.  he's much like Guardians of the Galaxy's Peter Quill, cracking jokes while saving the world.  His niche in the superhero ensemble is that he is smart in a practical way and humbly selfless, an altruistic engineer to Tony Stark's narcissistic genius.  Though in the end all the Avengers throw themselves on the grenade, Scott seems to come to the job with a clear knowledge that he is, in his own words, expendable.

Hope (Evangeline Lilly) is, at least in this movie, fairly underused and underdeveloped.  In fact, there is a moment when it is clear to cast and audience alike that Hope would make a much, much better Ant-Man than Scott.  Hank's reasons for recruiting Scott seem quite sexist at first, but are revealed to be more admirable than that.  After the credits, the audience is treated to a hint that we will see much more of Hope (the new Wasp) in the future. 

So, the plot isn't all that new, but at least it isn't as hard to follow as Avengers 2.  The ending turns very Big Hero Six, but it works.  The movie is here to introduce us to the new characters and does that well.  The dialogue is witty, the characters are likeable, and the appetite for Ant-Man is sufficiently whetted for future appearances.

Film | Bookmark

Recent Comments
Popular Threads
Search The Glom
The Glom on Twitter
Archives by Topic
Archives by Date
January 2019
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
    1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31    
Miscellaneous Links